Charles Barkley is never afraid to speak his mind. And he’s never afraid to have some fun on the set of TNT’s Inside the NBA. Both of those things were on full display Thursday night when the host went on a hilarious rant roasting Empire star Jussie Smollett, who was arrested on a felony charge for allegedly staging his own hate crime.
Barkley initially commented on the reports that Smollett wrote a check to two Nigerian brothers in order for them to stage the attack.
“America, let me just tell you something,” Barkley said. “Do not commit crimes with checks. If you’re gonna break the law, do not write a check. Get cash, man. I never use the ATM. Now, I heard you can only get 200 dollars. Gonna make a lot of stops at the ATM. Do not write checks when you commit illegal activity.”
Everyone on set came to laughter.
Then, Barkley really went in and referred to to actor Liam Neeson, who recently said there was a time he roamed his neighborhood in Northern Ireland with a weapon to hunt a “black bastard” after his friend alleged she was raped by a black man. Barkley used Neeson as a punchline for his final bit of advice to Smollett.
“Jussie, you wasted all that damn time and money,” Barkley said. “You know what you shoulda did? Just went up to Liam Neeson’s neighborhood. You coulda solved all your damn problems.”
You can watch the full video below.
Smollett, who faces up to three years in prison if convicted of the felony charge, was released Thursday on $100,000 bond. He is currently “on hold” for the filming of the show on Friday.